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Public Relations
Periodic Events

Public Relations Event Planning

How do you launch a new product?

Is the planning for a sales meeting, annual meeting or even an all-company meeting left to someone’s assistant?

What kind of research do you do to learn about your competitors, their products, their market share and their strategy?

These are all questions every company faces on occasion.

They are not daily activities. They are not usually part of anyone’s job duties. But they must be properly handled to get the best results.

For periodic public relations events, we provide planning and execution based on handling projects like these:

Public Relations Research

For Pfizer, we compiled lists of community leaders in government, education, healthcare and non-profits. We contacted them to participate in focus groups. We researched at random and selected those in geographic area to receive the survey we developed. The survey was analyzed and results presented to Pfizer.

It turned out that no one in the community knew much of what Pfizer did. We recommended a speaker’s bureau, educational radio ad campaign, reports to the community and reports about the company’s involvement with many area non-profit groups. Pfizer enacted all of these new communications.

We repeated the research process two years later after Pfizer enacted all of these recommendations. The response was showed a huge increase in awareness of Pfizer and the pharmaceutical industry overall.

Research — Surveys, Focus Groups
How will it help me sell?

Before embarking on any new venture or introducing any new product or service, it is prudent for businesses to discuss it with likely buyers as well as people who may influence a decision to purchase.

  • Pfizer Research & Development’s Ann Arbor Labs wanted to gauge the awareness of community residents and business, educational, government, academic and non profit leaders. The purpose was to determine what the business needed to do to inform these audiences of Pfizer’s work.

    We conducted a series of market research focus groups to determine awareness. There was very little for the firm had not communicated much for some period of time. We then recommended ways the company’s information could be spread. A speaker’s bureau was established in which 30 research scientists and executives were trained to speak in front of business and civic groups in a 50-mile radius. A series of one-minute radio ads were produced to run on WJR, the area’s leading station, in morning drive time. An annual report to the community was published. Periodic reports on Pfizer’s donations to area non-profits were published.

    Two years later, following the company’s execution of these new communications, we again surveyed the same focus groups as in the first phase research. This time, there was very high recognition among all groups of what Pfizer did.

  • NuStep makes a recumbent cross-trainer for use by rehab patients and in spas, gyms, shipboards as well as in training and other health and physical sites. The primary buyers of this product are physical therapists (PTs) who design training and rehab programs for their clients and patients.

    We conducted market research surveys of PTs around the nation to determine their knowledge of the company, the product and the product’s usage. We then worked with the firm’s advertising and marketing agency, Q Ltd., to develop themes and messages for overall communications – branding, advertising and “friends and family” program. Our role is to do the firm’s newsletter, prepare case histories of successful users and PTs and work with regional, local, national trade and business media to be included in stories about obesity, mental health, and heart and body replacement therapy.

Market Research Focus Groups and Surveys gives you information on what your buyers want and need in your product.

New Company & Product Launch Marketing
How will it help me sell?

Existing businesses launch new products often and must reach into the people who make buy decisions in their markets. New companies need to create awareness of their creation, products and markets.

We have created communications to launch several new companies and a range of products to inform the buyers of their existence and benefits.

  • National Archives Publishing Company (NAPC) – New Company Launch. Executives of ProQuest, a leading database publisher, determined to acquire segments of its business from the parent. They bought the existing business units UMI Periodicals and Xanadu as well as the plant and manufacturing operations and a long-term agreement to make microfilm and digital content for ProQuest.

    We counseled with the management of the new firm and worked closely with both companies to communicate the decision for NAPC to buy the businesses and become a start up business with several million in revenue, 5,000 customers and hundreds of employees. Our role was to plan communications, draft various announcements, prepare comments for the CEO and executives to speak to employees and deal with media.

  • Junglee – New Company Launch. Junglee was a virtual database company started in 1995 and sold to amazon.com in 1998 for stock then valued at $180 million. Our job was to announce the business and direct analyst and press relations, setting tours, writing material for press and case studies, and building relations with customers. We attained excellent analyst coverage and the press began to follow the company’s growth and progress until its acquisition.

  • ABN AMRO Mortgage Group’s mortgage.com – New Product Launch. ABN AMRO acquired the mortgage.com name after that Florida-based firm was swallowed up in the e-commerce downturn of 2000-2001. This allowed ABN to move into the direct-to-consumer market channel and provide mortgages online – a new channel to complement the firm’s work with mortgage brokers. The channel grew to more than 10 percent of the firm’s mortgage business within two years.

Public Relations Event Planning
How will it help me sell?

All companies have the need to conduct various events during any year. These may be sales meetings, sessions at trade forums or shows, or in the case of a company whose stock is publicly held, annual or other shareholder meetings.

Such events do not just happen. They require detailed advance planning as well as practice.

Business Review “Deals of the Year” Event Planning
Business Review is published across Michigan in four major cities. The Ann Arbor Business Review conceived the idea of a new “Deals of the Year” competition in which its editors and writers would select the best business deals for the year in 10 different categories such as retail, manufacturing, and finance.

Two months before the program, BR needed help to guarantee good attendance, secure speakers and act as overall counsel to plan and conduct the program.

We helped arrange attendance by all winners, secured several area leaders to introduce the winners. The black-tie gala sold out with more than 300 attendees.

San Francisco Heart Institute Event Planning
This well-known heart institute wanted to reach out to general practice physicians in a 100-mile radius across the Bay area. The purpose was to acquaint them with the facilities, expertise of heart physicians and related information about SFHI.

We staged a series of late afternoon and evening seminars, followed by sit-down dinners, which presented the various procedures and experts on the SFHI staff. Our job was to plan the presentations and dinners, determine what GPs to invite and run each of the series of events over two years.

Cop on a Billboard Event Planning
Ameritech sponsored the annual Torch Run in which volunteers raised money for Special Olympics by walking and running a 225-mile route from Northern Michigan into Detroit in the southeast corner of the state.

We drove interest and participation in the event by working with the Detroit Police Department to place one policeman on a billboard near the General Motors headquarters to attract attention of passers-by, media and donors. This type of program had worked well at other venues across the country.

The Macarena dance was popular at the time and we worked with a local hip-hop radio station to invite the audience to come down to a Macarena dance party at the billboard site.

The cop remained on the bill board for five days and the program attracted huge attention with one radio station setting up a studio adjacent to the billboard for a day, newspaper and TV stations coming by for photos and interviews.

The event raised $60,000 in five days – a substantial increase in donations from the fund raising efforts for the same program in prior years.

Public relations event planning helps you sell by attracting customers and people to innovative and newsworthy activities.

“When confronted recently with an issue that my company needed to make the public aware of we decided to hire a public relations firm. Your name was the first to come to mind. We called you, and I’m glad we did. I want you to know that Eiler Communications went well beyond our expectations on the project, tackling it immediately and succeeding beautifully, Thank you!”

Jeff Hauptman, President, Oxford Company